Metal or Clear Reinforcements for Ship Book Pages

Warning! There has been a report that if you add the metal grommets to all the paper Ship Book pages, the metal adds too much to the “thickness” of the pages in the Ship Book so that they do not turn well (it ends up looking like it is “too full” or that there are “too many pages”). With that in mind, you may wish to only metal reinforce the first and last pages and not all of them! Read more about it in this Board Game Geek (BGG) forum thread:

=> Metal Reinforcements (warning)

Yes, it works! I purchased a kit that lets me reinforce the pages in the Ship Book with METAL!

Update: Actually I have now purchased TWO different kits! The first one worked well with the Prototype Ship Book but was a tad too big for the final version.

This is the grommet kit that is the correct size (5mm) for the final Ship Book pages:
=> Keadic 300 Sets 1/5 inch Multi-Color Metal Eyelets Grommets Kit

Here is how the metal grommet on the first Ship Book page looks (along with a clear plastic ring reinforcement next to it):

This is what it looks like (use the link above to see it on Amazon):

Now … about the metal grommet kit… It is not meant for this purpose, but it works! And if you want that nice feel of turning pages with metal rings around the holes in the pages you can do it too. I am not a very handy guy plus I don’t do “crafts”. But putting grommets in my Ship Binder page holes was quite easy. But, then again, it also was easy putting the thin clear plastic rings round the holes.

The Count: There are 14 pages in the Ship Book with 3 holes on each page, so you have to reinforce 42 holes (for the first Core Box campaign). The 2nd Wave will include the Lost Fleet campaign stretch goal plus many of you may have gotten the Deadly Frontier expansion campaign. Maybe plan on each of them being equivalent to the Core Box campaign and the would be maybe 30 more pages with 90 more holes. Maybe estimate 150 holes. If you use thin plastic rings you should place them on the front AND the back side of the pages so you will need 300 rings. If you use metal grommets, please be warned NOT to do all the pages… just the first and last pages.

Now … the details!

You likely will opt for the thin clear plastic ring reinforcements. I got these on Amazon:

The transparent rings have adhesive on the backside and are on a long spool, which is inside the box (and stays there). They have the ring strip poking out through a slot in the side of the box. You simply pull on the strip slowly and the next clear ring “pops” off – just grab it (with a toothpick) and apply (just like the return address labels we have for the top left corner of real paper envelopes we mail).

Since the rings are clear, it is a bit hard to determine their alignment, so I had to do it with a good light source AND holding the ring stuck on the tip of a toothpick. But with a little care, I got the rings lined up just right. Make sure to do this on both the front and the back of the Ship Book page. And make sure to rub down on the applied ring with something (I used the top of my fingernail to slide over and around and over the ring while the page was on my hard wood table top).

Note that the holes in the Ship Book pages are a bit smaller than typical “American” page holes … thus the Avery ring inforcements were a bit too big. These are the slightly smaller sized rings that fit ISS Vanguard pages perfectly:

=> Self Adhesive Reinforcement Rings

Next … if you want the ultimate page hole protection you can line the hole with metal. And it does not cost that much! Actually just a few dollars more than the thin plastic rings! (when I purchased them… prices can vary day by day). See details above.

Warning:  from Lone Pathfinder:

More thoughts others shared:

NOTE: The first version of this article was written before I had the final Ship Book and it suggested a metal grommet kit that uses grommets that are a bit too big. I have removed the link for that kit for that reason.

Side Note:

Of course, there is another option. A bit more drastic, but an option!

You could use your scissors or paper cutter and trim the sides of the thin cardboard Ship Book pages and then slide them into clear plastic sheet protectors. Of course, if your goal is preserving and protecting the pages, you just CUT THEM :)

OR you could photocopy the pages and then place the photocopies into the sheet protectors!

OR you could laminate the pages and punch holes in the correct places.


Since I now have both the metal grommets AND the thin clear plastic rings, I reinforced the very first and very last Ship Book page with metal and the rest with the clear plastic rings!

3 thoughts on “Metal or Clear Reinforcements for Ship Book Pages

Add yours

  1. I tested metal rings after find a bit of card that appeared to be the same weight. My rings didn’t come out as neat looking and the card distorted so I’m thinking I’ll try the stick on clear plastic ring reinforcements.


  2. I am interested in doing metal reinforcement but why does it look like you made new holes instead of reinforcing the current ones? Just curious the reasoning.


    1. Ohhhh …. I need to add a note to the article! I do not have the final game and am using Prototype 2. Prototype 2 Ship Book pages have 7 holes in each page … I think they are prepunched for a 4 ring binder as well as a 3 ring binder.


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